Know What to Do with Your Christmas Tree Once the Holidays Are Over

Here’s your quick reference guide.

old, dead Christmas treeTaking down the Christmas tree after the holidays isn’t nearly as much fun as selecting and decorating it. But, the longer a tree stays up, the greater a fire hazard it poses. It’s best to discard trees within one month after purchase. 

When Christmas is over or the tree begins to drop needles, that means it’s time to dispose of it. Do not leave it in the house or store it in the garage. It’s also a bad idea to burn your tree (branches or needles) in a fireplace or wood stove because they pose a fire hazard.

When it’s time to dispose your tree, here’s a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts from the City’s Waste Management Division: 

  • Curbside Collection: Crews will collect Christmas trees as regular yard waste on your normal collection day — no need to call our office. Trees must be curbside and free of the stand, tinsel, lights and ornaments. Remember: Don’t block those storm drains.
  • Landfill and Resource Recovery Center: Residents who take their trees to the City’s Landfill and Resource Recovery Center, located at 1989 Jake Sears Road, will be happy to know that their trees will be chipped and used for mulch by City Landscape crews. Trees must be free of their stand, lights, ornaments and tinsel. 
  • Beaches: Residents should NEVER place trees on area beaches. Beach Operations and the City’s Landscape Services work to manage our beautiful sand dunes. Trees contain a lot of sap, and once dry are a fire hazard. Trees can also end up in the water and pose a safety concern for marine life, boaters and swimmers. 
  • Return to Seller: Some of the local nurseries have take-back programs. Check with the location where you purchased your tree to see if they take them back. If not, check with one that does, and they might take yours as well. 
  • Local Drop-Offs: Local businesses have offered to accept trees. Be on the look-out for announcements via social media or local news stations for businesses that are collecting trees.
  • Faux Tree: If your fake tree is a bit scraggly and you no longer have a use for it, consider donation. Virginia Beach is full of wonderful charitable organizations that would gladly accept your donated tree.
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